Liferay Releases Survey Results on Digital Transformation Progress in the Financial Industry

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Among the findings: silos drive away customers, CIOs need bigger roles, back-end integration remains a major barrier

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Financial institutions as a whole are racing to implement advanced customer experience management and complete their digital transformations.

Liferay, which makes software for enterprises, today announced the results of WBR Digital’s report, Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions: How to Lead the Charge with People and Technology. The survey shows where financial institution executives now stand with their companies’ digital transformation initiatives, where the biggest challenges lie, and which digital strategies they are adopting in order to better present a unified customer experience across channels.

Full survey results are available in the benchmark report, Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions: How to Lead the Charge with People and Technology, which can be downloaded at

The findings show financial institutions are experiencing momentum in their digital transformation initiatives (49% report being halfway through their rollouts) with real challenges remaining for delivering connected customer experiences. These include silos within organizations among business units that prevent addressing the entire customer life cycle and a lack of backend integration, which blocks progress in delivering omnichannel experiences.

“The results of this survey make it clear that digital strategy and marketing leaders in the financial industry view technology as essential to achieving digital transformation,” said John Choi, Director of U.S. Operations at Liferay. “Delivering engaging, personal customer experiences is critical for businesses to succeed going forward, and it’s imperative that financial institutions embrace the technology leadership, cross-functional team work and integration technology necessary to make those experiences possible.”

Key findings of the financial services digital business report include:

  • The clock is ticking on digital transformation: Financial institutions as a whole are racing to implement advanced customer experience management and complete their digital transformations, with only 1% of respondents stating that they have yet to begin this process. On the other hand, only 4% of respondents reported completing their digital transformations; 37% are currently beginning a roll out, 49% are halfway through, and 9% are close to finished. Those lagging behind in this race risk falling behind in the competitive marketplace as well – and are in large part scrambling to properly empower and equip their IT teams to help them pick up the pace.
  • Seamless omnichannel customer experiences and addressing the full customer lifecycle are common industry goals: The survey found 94% of financial services businesses are at some stage of coordinating a cohesive customer experience across channels, with only 6% not pursuing this course. At the same time, 92% are at some stage of addressing the full customer lifecycle. Three-fourths either have or are working on integrating customer acquisition and retention channels.
  • Technology leadership is key, but all departments must work together: A full 87% of executives believe technology is intrinsic to digital transformation, and must be considered in tandem with strategy – suggesting that CIOs should play an influential role. However, while technology is considered essential, more than half of respondents say that access to IT resources is an obstacle. Signaling that clear and dedicated leadership across business units is a necessity for properly guiding a financial industry business through its digital transformation, 32% looked to the C-suite as the business unit that should own digital strategy, while 41% believed a cross-departmental digital team would be most effective.
  • To address the full customer lifecycle, eliminate silos: When asked what the most pressing barrier to addressing the full customer lifecycle is within their company, 46% of respondents cited different business units owning different parts of the lifecycle (and another 16% cited budget constraints or budget spread across different departments). This is why creating and empowering a cross-departmental digital team is viewed as an effective solution.
  • Backend integration is seen as a huge barrier: A plurality of 21% of respondents name a lack of back-end integration across systems as the greatest barrier to achieving an omnichannel customer experience. Further demonstrating the need for IT to play a leadership role as a driver of digital transformation, 18% cite unclear or competing ownership of customer experience with conflicting goals for the customer as a barrier.

Survey Methodology

The results analyzed in this report were gathered from responses to an on-site benchmarking survey delivered at NetFinance Interactive 2016, a Worldwide Business Research conference. Seventy executives at financial services companies participated in the survey.

About Liferay

Liferay makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on web, mobile, and connected devices. Our platform is open source, which makes it more reliable, innovative and secure. We try to leave a positive mark on the world through business and technology. Companies such as Adidas, Carrefour, Cisco Systems, Danone, Fujitsu, Lufthansa Flight Training, Siemens, Société Générale and the United Nations use Liferay. Visit us at

About WBR Digital

WBR Digital connects solution providers to their target audiences with year-round online branding and engagement lead generation campaigns. We are a team of content specialists, marketers, and advisors with a passion for powerful marketing. We believe in demand generation with a creative twist. We believe in the power of content to engage audiences. And we believe in campaigns that deliver results. Visit WBR Digital at

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Rebecca Shin
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